The Bombay high court on Tuesday asked the state government to submit an affidavit detailing the safety arrangements made at beaches in the city in light of idol immersion during Ganesh Chaturthi.
HC was hearing a plea on beach security when one of the intervenors in the plea stated that several people gathered at beaches at Girgaum and Juhu for idol immersion and the government must ensure their safety, especially since several people die of drowning during the Ganesh Chaturthi festivities.
The court also enquired about the status of the Government Resolution (GR) on beach security.
The GR was notified by the state on September 8, 2006. According to the resolution, numerous measures had to be taken which included appointing lifeguards as per requirement and putting up safety nets on beaches frequented by visitors.
The chief secretary had also taken a meeting on March 3, 2016, for implementation of the resolution and had directed that safety measures such as having lifeguards, watchtowers, lifeboats, life jackets etc. be implemented within three months. While the period has expired nothing has been done by the state to ensure safety of tourists on beaches.
The state has now said that it will file its reply on the same on Thursday, adding meanwhile that it was “taking all necessary steps during such festivities including deploying homeguards.”
The state also cited recommendations by the Indian Institute of Scuba Diving and Aquatic Sports to justify the delay in implementing the GR. The state’s counsel said that since “Indian beaches do not have a threat of shark attacks, there exists no urgency or need to install watch towers or safety nets along beaches.”